Not even a rare weather event on the east coast could stop the NRL from pushing forward in round two. The monsoon-like rain did change playing conditions dramatically, but there were still plenty of winners to be found among the eight games.
Eels 1612 Storm
Has any punter ever been let down by the Storm? Many experts gave the Parramatta Eels a red-hot chance, and perhaps we overlooked them a little bit due to their bad first half against Brisbane. Considering the conditions and the opposition, it was one of their most complete performances for many a year. We got the winner wrong, but Maika Sivo scoring at Bankwest Stadium is just about the safest bet in footy and his double was spectacular. Just keep throwing him in your same-game multis and you will have a fun time.
Warriors 1620 Knights
With 10 minutes to go, our prediction of the Warriors being a tipster’s nightmare was looking bang on. As predicted, Ken Maumalo crossed to give the Kiwis the lead, before some Bradman Best brilliance saved our bacon and gave us our Newcastle Knights 1-12 tip at $3.10. New Zealand did everything right in the game except get the result, while the Knights will take a lot of confidence from getting the win after spending a bulk of the game on the back foot. Newcastle have plenty of cattle to come back into the squad and have the Tigers and Dragons in the next fortnight, while the Warriors face a tough Roosters and Raiders double.
Titans 2816 Broncos
Not only did the Gold Coast Titans have a ton of fun in this game, we also came to the party and found some winners. It was inevitable David Fifita was going to run riot on the left edge and score at least one try, but if you went hard and backed him for a double, well done! Xavier Coates was in doubt for most of the week and we were forced to look elsewhere, but it looks as though he is going to score plenty in a bad Broncos team in 2021. Keep backing him and you should continue to get a profit more often than not. The $2.75 for the Titans to win at 1-12 was in grave danger until some garbage time points from the Broncos, which shows the Titans still have a long way to go to get that ruthless streak into their football.
Bulldogs 028 Panthers
Unfortunately, as a spectacle this game went as expected. Had it been a dry track the Penrith Panthers may have won by 50, and it confirmed just how far away the Bulldogs are from being a top-eight team. Apart from one moment of Nick Cotric magic which was taken away by The Bunker, Canterbury never looked like scoring. Penrith became the first team since 1919 to have a clean sheet in three consecutive regular season games, and the 13+ margin we had for them was never in doubt. We hope you all got on Viliame Kikau to score first like we told you? The $14 price was an amazing start to Super Saturday, but potentially losing Nathan Cleary for next week’s 2020 NRL Grand Final rematch with the Storm due to a concussion was not the way Penrith wanted things to go.
Sea Eagles 1226 Rabbitohs
Now this is the game where we gave you some good oil. Remember our prediction of Souths 13+ with Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker and Alex Johnston to all score at any time in the game? It was left late, but Johnston did the business and got us the $12 price. The South Sydney Rabbitohs looked like running up a score early, but Manly made them work harder for the victory than they would have liked. Unfortunately for those on the Northern Beaches, it looks as though the Sea Eagles are going to have a long year, so much so that they are at level pegging in the head-to-head betting with the Dragons for their clash in round three.
Cowboys 1825 Dragons
The late withdrawal of Jason Taumalolo threw a spanner in the works, but we still thought the Cowboys might have been good enough to hang on. Instead the St George Illawarra Dragons walked away with a valuable two points and left North Queensland scratching their heads. We did get a nice little win with Zac Lomax at $2.70 to cross the stripe, and now the Dragons get a home game against the hapless Manly to build even more confidence. In the short term the Cowboys face the Titans, Sharks, Bulldogs and Tigers and are going to have to win at least three of those to turn their season around, but they’ll only be favourites against the Doggies. It might be time to bet against them every week.
Tigers 640 Roosters
Will Brett Morris ever get old? Can James Tedesco get any better? The form of these two Sydney Roosters stars in the opening fortnight is astounding. Tedesco backed up our thoughts and crossed first at the cool price of $10 – our second first tryscorer win of the round. The left-edge defence of the Tigers was beyond shambolic and Luke Keary had a field day, but why are Wests still so bad? They’ve scored three tries in two games, and Jacob Liddle has got two of them barging over from dummy half. They’ve come in hard for the wooden spoon and are just $5.50, which is an ominous sign for Michael Maguire.
Sharks 1012 Raiders
Well, throw out our 13+ margin tip for either side. This turned into a knock-down, drag-out fight in the second half after a scintillating first stanza. The goal kicking of Chad Townsend, who could only nail one from four on the night, could prove costly for the Sharks in the back end of the season. Cronulla produced enough good football to suggest they are right in the mix for a top-eight berth, but again they fell short against a finals contender. The Canberra Raiders lost the plot in the second half and really were lucky to escape with the two points. Across their first two games they’ve shown patches of nice attacking football, but Ricky Stuart’s side will need to continue to improve so their defence isn’t under so much pressure when it comes to games later in the year against better opponents.
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